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A Musical Life: Dan Dixon

Dan Dixon

Dan Dixon is a founding member of Atlanta, Georgia’s PLS PLS and is a producer and recording engineer who operates his own studio. PLS PLS’s latest release is Everything That’s Left. Dixon has also recently overseen the reissue of several recordings from his previous band, Dropsonic, in addition to a rarities collection titled The Best of the Rest.

“PLS PLS’s music is often trying to find the balance between making you bob your head and singalong while, also, lyrically, bumming you out entirely.

Production is a huge part of the songwriting process for us because I’m often writing songs by myself in the studio. So, any sounds that I get on a demo or as I’m creating an idea, usually end up on the actual final recording and they inform what anybody else plays as they come into the picture later. They inform anything else that I come up with that follows it. So, every sound and part is forced to interlock with what came before it instead of everybody playing at one time, sort of conforming to each other, often, everything else has to conform to the first part of the idea.

As a lyricist, I’m always walking that line between saying whatever it is that I’m wanting to talk about and also still trying to write something that is relatable to whoever is listening. Generally, that just means writing more metaphorically. Most of the stuff I write about is just personal experiences and feelings and things like that. It’s stuff that’s relatable to anybody, so as long as I’m not specific about who I’m talking about, not only does it make it more accessible to whoever is listening to it, it also helps me to connect with it when I have to sing it 10 years later.”

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.